Facebook which today boasts of 2.6 billion monthly active users worldwide was started from a dorm and launched as an exclusive ‘college-only’ network. Now, the social media behemoth seems to head back to their roots.
The company has recently announced the launch of its brand new product known as ‘Campus’. No points for guessing, it is designed for college students quite exclusively.
A section of the main app, Facebook Campus will let students interact with their peers with ease. Apart from that, two other big highlights of this product are – a dedicated campus-only News Feed and the ability to access exclusive group chat rooms dubbed as Campus Chats.
It is safe to say that by launching this, Mark Zuckerberg is definitely trying to digitise the entire social life that a normal college or university campus offers to the young generation.
Also, one needs to note here that the company, in order to give a subtle nod to how it actually started up, has integrated a ‘Campus directory’ feature wherein a student can find and connect with other students.
How To Access Facebook Campus?
The process to access Facebook Campus is pretty straight forward. Students have to provide their .edu email address along with their graduation year and viola! they’ll be in.
After that, students will need to create a separate profile which will be visible only in the ‘Campus’ section. They can, however, choose to keep their main profile’s display picture and cover photo the same if they want to. That’s an optional change.
Once this minimal set up is complete, students will come across even more specific options they can change and tweak such as adding and removing subjects they are majoring in, their hometown, dorm and various other details.
Currently, Facebook Campus has not been rolled out globally but it is piloting with 30 universities across the United States. These include Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, University of Louisville, Vassar, and Virginia Tech.
The users of Facebook Campus will only be able to interact with other students of the same university only. It’s like a private university intranet type social network as students won’t be able to contact with other students from nearby colleges.
But there are many close connections between Facebook Campus and users’ normal profile as well. If a particular user gets blocked on their normal profile, these settings will apply to ‘Campus’ too. Also, if a Facebook user violated any of the company’s set community standards outside the Campus, the same will apply to this product as well.
For alumni, even though they will be allowed to access Campus, Facebook will send a notification to them suggesting them it’d be better if they leave as the Campus features will not be relevant to them.
Why Is Facebook Focusing On College Communities Once Again?
Facebook’s focus on college communities is basically an effort to make sure they are able to keep their primary product relevant to Generation Z aka individuals who were born after 1998. The idea here is to to keep the younger generation hooked and engaged for longer durations for sure.
Besides that, the Generation Z cohort is easily one of the most lucrative audiences that currently exists. In the near future, they will contribute heavily to the buying power of all generations combined and thus the more data Facebook can scrape about their behaviour and hyper-specific details the better.
It’s no secret that Facebook is driven by advertising revenue. In 2019, the social media behemoth’s ads revenue, contributing a whopping 98.5% of the total revenue, reached an all-time high of $69,655 million, with a 26.6% YoY growth. By launching Facebook Campus, the Menlo Park giant is basically setting up their advertisers to receive more sophisticated targeting options and when that happens it equals to more cha-ching for Zuckerberg!
It would be interesting to see if Zuckerberg and Team could turn this product into another cash cow to lure advertisers and make them pore more ad dollars in a bid to target Gen Z. Do let us know your views in the comment section below.